Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $674,000)
The San Carlos Apache Tribe lies in a rural and sometimes lawless land. There is a major highway that runs through the Tribal Community. That highway has been a corridor for drug and human smuggling over the years. Within the past few years the pandemic has taken a toll on the quality of life of many tribal residents. Gun fire and violence has increased tremendously since 2020. Methamphetamine and fentanyl seizures account for 98% of all drug seizures in the surrounding counties, this is nearly $33 million in street value. The San Carlos Apache Police Department are a courageous and honorable force in the community that work tirelessly to keep the communities safe. Just as such, they are underfunded and understaffed. The funding that is proposed will ensure that the police force are safe while conducting their duties. The equipment purchased, vehicles, communications system, and bulletproof vests will add a layer of security that will improve justice processes on the reservation. The communications system will add enhanced measures for evidentiary support that will reduce the number of cases dismissed due to the lack of evidence.